We have been waxing eloquent about the virtues & values of the Life Organic, the less violent approach it calls for etc.
Haven't you wondered if as farmers ,we are able to extend the same charitable friendly attitude even to those creatures who walk into the fields and help themselves lavishly to the fruits of our hard labour?
Yes.We are talking about those who for their annoyance value(from our naturally selfish perspective as farmers that is ,earn the name, ‘pests’ ?
Our honest answer is -Not completely .But as Organic farmers we certainly do fare better in practically implementing Live and Let Live’ than our industrialised counterparts .
So we thought we should share with you our take on alternatives-Not the more hard core stuff like ginger /garlic/neem oil preparations etc which are behind the curtains now for some serious R&D scrutiny,review and innovation (we will share once done as we always do)but a more gorgeous element on our farms that have always caught the eye of our visitors.
Yellow has this power to attract insects. Which is why the large sticky fly papers used by large industrial farms are always this nice bright highly visible yellow.
But here we are talking of the Marigolds -If you ask me a truly poetically beautiful measure to control pests ,all gloriously yellow and glowing against the green ,the red -russets of earth and the sheer blueness of sky in our farms at Kottur and Thali.
The Marigold’s gorgeous blooms attract the insects who would have otherwise settled on our produce of the Brassica family namely, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli etc.There are Marigold varieties that also function like the legendary femme fatales who kill off those insects ,who unable to resist the flower’s fateful allure, meet their nemesis.
What is more ,in organic agriculture practices there is this powerful concept of pest control that employs what are called ‘companion plants.’How the strategy for controlling pests through the use of ‘companion plants’ within a crop system is devised is nothing short of amazing!
A companion plant may be associated with a target crop for various reasons:
Firstly, it has been observed to attract the pests in question and draw them away from their host plants.
Secondly, it can alter the recognition of the host plant. This effect is mostly attributed to companion plant volatiles since they disturb the pests’s host plant location systems!(amazing post modern war tactic sophistication! ).
By the same powers they may react chemically & physiologically with the host plant, making it an unsuitable host for the pests in question.
Thirdly,in a manner reminiscent of the tenets of Chanakya neeti , they can attract the natural enemies of the pests in question by providing shelter & food resources to them effectively becoming pests to the pests themselves!
The point however is this: Once we are able to enter the subtle realm of inter relationships between different kinds of varieties of beings in nature through silent and keen observation ,we too become an integral part of what we observe .This sense of membership & belonging confers on us the permission to intelligently & creatively use some of these insights advantageously to achieve our own (if reasonable & ethically justifiable)ends without invasive intervention and with least possible effort .
Before the infinite wisdom that has created Nature herself as such an awesome all encompassing wholly accountable subtly integrated design system,we are but just little children playing with the littlest pebbles on the coast lining a vast and mysterious sea ...
This awareness keeps us all at Lumiere sharp ,alert and always ticking .